The time to fight back — and fight forward — for reproductive justice is fast approaching. The stakes are high in this year’s state election, with candidates for governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and other races on the ballot. The Arizona primary election will be held August 28, 2018, and early voting began on August 2. Voters need to have been registered by July 30 to cast their ballots. Reproductive health has been under attack, both nationally and statewide, but Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona has endorsed candidates who put our health and our rights first. Get to know them now in our series of “Meet Our Candidates” interviews, and make your voice heard in 2018!
Marcus Ferrell is a pragmatic yet fearless House of Representatives candidate from Legislative District 24, which encompasses the core of Central Phoenix. The majority of the district is located between 7th Avenue and 7th Street, with additional pockets of voters outside of the historic districts.
LD 24 is home to tremendous diversity, which generally produces many candidates. This cycle is no different, with seven candidates running for two seats. Although these candidates are impressive, and the district would benefit from any of them, one hopeful stood out from the pack: Marcus Ferrell.
“We must stand up to anyone who wants to roll back a woman’s right to choose.”
Marcus Ferrell is a driven candidate with an exciting campaign. Mr. Ferrell, a political strategist by trade, has taken ideas that have been successful for his winning clients and is applying them to his own campaign. It was while working on the Stacey Abrams campaign for governor of Georgia that he felt compelled to run for his home district here in Arizona.
Pushing a progressive and intersectional agenda, he’s long been an advocate for women. As one of the few candidates to have worked at an abortion clinic in his early days, Mr. Ferrell has first-hand knowledge of what our health care staff goes through every day. He has witnessed the harassment our patients face just getting to the door of our health centers, whether from protesters with bullhorns or politicians enacting burdensome laws.
With the primary on the horizon — and with early voting already underway — Mr. Ferrell was kind enough to offer his vision for Arizona to us on July 30, 2018.
Please tell us a little about your background and why you’re running for office in this political climate.
I am a U.S. Navy veteran and a community organizer. I served as national black outreach director for Bernie Sanders and as a member of the East Valley NAACP. I’m running in this climate because all of our citizens have not had a seat at the table. It’s time to bring diverse people and leadership to the state Capitol.
What will be your first action as an elected official in 2019?
Find out where every private prison contract is located and begin the process of defunding them, followed up by an effort to write or support a bill that mandates equal pay for employees in the state of Arizona no matter their sex, color, or creed.
The uncertain future of the Supreme Court highlights the importance of protecting our rights at the state level. How can state legislators stem the tide of attacks on reproductive rights, for example by addressing so-called conscience clauses, targeted regulations, and access to family planning?
By creating a culture of resistance and ending the culture of democratic spinelessness. We must stand up to anyone who wants to roll back a woman’s right to choose.
What can state legislators do not just to safeguard existing LGBTQ rights in Arizona, but to move them forward?
Place constitutional amendments into the Arizona constitution to protect members of the LGBTQIA community.
What other issues are you fighting for?
A living wage, affordable health care, fully funded public education, and free pre-K. Police reform and mandatory body cameras
What gives you hope for the future of Arizona?
Seeing the teachers fight for our students and fully funded schools.
What is the most significant thing you will do as an elected official to Stand With Planned Parenthood?
As state representative, I plan on making sure Planned Parenthood is centered in my decisions. Regular conversation with Planned Parenthood will be normalized.